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Mounting Fixtures on Palm Trees

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by steveparrott, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    How are you guys mounting fixtures on palm trees?

    I've seen rings and straps with various kinds of mounting brackets, but have also heard a lot of dissatisfaction with these.

    I'd also like to hear from the palm tree experts as to what hurts a palm tree with regard to mounting fixtures. And wonder if different types of palms need different consideration.

  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    the palm tree vascular system is very different from that of regualr trees. Palms trees cary their fluids in many bundles(like straws) in the trunk from the outer edge all the way to center as opposed to around the outer edge of the trunk... like trees.

    I have seen people lag screw right into the trunk of the palm with no adverse effects. Iwoudl use stainless steel crews though....I don't think a galvinized screw would be a good idea...
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I mount lights in palm trees quite often and I have never had a problem. Always use stainless steel screws for palm trees or any other trees for that matter. For a mounting bracket, I use the Kichler tree mount bracket. It is very small and blends in well.
  4. jdgent

    jdgent LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30

    Spoken like a Florida arborist...absolutely correct. A friend in the tree business told me you could drill all the way through a tree and kill it, yet doing the same thing to a palm would not.
  5. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Forgive my ignorance about palms. . .if you screw a mounting bracket directly into the trunk, what happens as the tree grows - does it grow over the bracket or stay put on the outside of the expanding trunk surface?

    I'm wondering why installers would go the extra mile with a ring or strap if screwing a mounting bracket into the trunk works just as well.
  6. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Because they did not have the good sense to ask the question like you did. No the Palm does not expand like most trees. Depending on the type of palm you might need some long screws. A skinned Mexican or Calif. fan will be the easiest to attach to a Date will require 3"-4" screws a Queen or that type unless already skinned will also require long screws.
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Ok, what I'm hearing is that there is no need to use the unsightly rings and straps - a simple mounting bracket or canopy with stainless screws of sufficient length will suffice.

    Any contrary opinions?
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    nopr they are absolotely correct.

    a palm is a monocot. It is essentially a tall grass.

    There is no cambium with zaylem and phloem like a dicot. Most trees and shrubs.

    also once a palm starts to elongate (grow vertically) there is almost no girth increase of the trunk. There are no nodes in the trunk to dammage, no new growth points, etc... palms ONLY grow from the center top of the trunk.

    They will also sprout new growth from the trunk, but that is dependant on the palm genotype.
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    I have never used a ring or strap on any tree whatsoever. If you talk to any arborist, most will agree that a tree bracket will be the least harmfull to a tree leaving a space between the tree and bracket.
  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    actually you could drill all the way through a regular tree and not kill it.

    When I was working at Disney, they brought in a live oak with about a 60-70 foot canopy. they had to use a crane to lift it up and over some berms. they drilled through the trunk and put in a huge bar to give them a nother lift point...I don;'t remember if it was valley crest or Vila and Son that did the actual moving...but the root box was about 15 feet on each side....

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